During the third ODI of Australia’s tour of New Zealand in 2005, Brendon McCullum lead New Zealand to a then record chase. Having won the first two ODIs at Auckland and Wellington by 147 and two runs respectively, Australia had already laid their hands on the three-match series.
In the third ODI at Christchurch, Daniel Vettori, the then New Zealand captain, won the toss and chose to field. New Zealand’s new ball pair in Kyle Mills and Chris Martin dismissed the Australian opening pair in Adam Gilchrist and Simon Katich cheaply. Half-centuries from Ricky Ponting, Brad Hodge, Michael Clarke and Michael Hussey enabled Australia to score 331-7 in 50 overs.
At the halfway mark, a Kiwi whitewash was within the bounds of possibility. With Scott Styris firm at one end, New Zealand kept losing wickets at regular intervals from the other end. Styris went on to score his third ODI century, 101 (96), with the help of 12 fours and two sixes.
He became the eighth New Zealand wicket to fall as New Zealand were reduced to 258-8 in 43 overs. The Black Caps’ chances of winning the match seemed bleak post his dismissal. However, Brendon McCullum had other plans. Requiring 74 runs to win from seven overs with two wickets in hand, McCullum went all guns blazing in a bid to win the ultimate match.
His fourth half-century was vital in New Zealand chasing the then highest total in ODIs. He scored 50* (25) with the help of three fours and four sixes. Captain Vettori chipped in with 23* (12) with the help of two fours and a six. The duo brought up a New Zealand victory with an over to spare.
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